Senator Trent Lott Remarks on the Petraeus Report, MoveOn.org and President Bush’s Speech Tonight

Senator Trent Lott Remarks on the Petraeus Report, MoveOn.org and President Bush’s Speech Tonight

Highlights:

· “Osama bin Laden says that Iraq is one of their targets. What is it the Democrats don’t understand about that?”

· “There has been a change in mission. The surge occurred. It is producing results. We still have more things we need to do.”

· “I assume the New York Times gave [MoveOn.org] the friends and family discount….”

· “To accuse (General Petraeus) this patriot, this military man, this outstanding individual, who the Senate endorsed unanimously for the position he has, and then accuse him of betraying America – it’s one of the worst things I’ve seen in my years in Washington.

Full Transcript
Senate Republican Whip Trent Lott of Mississippi is interviewed on Fox News with E.D. Hill
September 13, 2007

HILL: The President will be addressing the nation at 9 o’clock Eastern tonight from the Oval Office. You will see that live here on Fox News Channel. He will be updating all of us here in America about the war in Iraq.

And joining us now from Capitol Hill to give us a preview is Mississippi Senator Trent Lott.

Thank you for being with you, Senator.

LOTT: Glad to be with you again. E.D. How you doing?

HILL: I’m doing well.

LOTT: Good.

HILL: Senator Lott, thanks. Will the President say anything different from what we’ve heard in the past, in your opinion?

LOTT: He may have some additions in terms of what the future may hold.

Mainly, I think he’s going to say that he thinks that the surge has been producing some favorable results. He is going to, in effect, endorse what General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker had to say, and basically say, “We’re going to go forward with the Petraeus plan.”

And I think he may add that depending on how events unfold next year that we may actually be able to draw down more numbers than General Petraeus indicated. Now, I don’t know that he’s going to do that, but he’ll keep that option open, I’m sure.

I think it’s important that the president speak to the American people about where we are, what’s at stake here. I do think he’s going to continue to point out that this is all tied to the overall War on Terror, and a lot of the problems – the big problems that have developed, involve Al Qaeda in Iraq.

HILL: Yes.

LOTT: You know, Osama bin Laden says that Iraq is one of their targets. What is it the Democrats don’t understand about that?

HILL: Let me ask you about what’s happening in the Senate with the Democrats and the Republicans.

It seems – and, again, an outside view, but it seems like it has been, sort of, this battle for all or none, either, you know, everybody pull out right now, or none until this specific person says so. And that would be, of course, Petraeus.

Is there a shift now to accommodate the moderates, do you think, from the Democratic leadership?

LOTT: There’s some talk in that direction, but I think all that’s really going on is the Democratic leadership is trying to find a way to grab off just two or three more Republicans. There’s no real change in strategy.

Now, they may try to move a little bit more toward a step-by-step process, which would have been smarter from the beginning.

But the thing that’s amazing to me is, here’s what was an opportunity for us to say, as a group, “Look, there has been a change in mission. The surge occurred. It is producing results. We still have more things we need to do. We’re going to begin to reduce troops.”

We could’ve come together in a broad, bipartisan agreement, and the American people, I think, would’ve liked that.

But right now the whole attitude in the Senate is mean-spirited, nasty. All the Democrats really want is to get out now. It’s all about politics and, frankly, I’m disgusted with it.

HILL: Well, I’m sure I can guess what your opinion was of that article that MoveOn.org ran in the New York Times. Today, the word has been leaked out that the New York Times gave the very liberal activist organization a huge discount and prominent placement of an ad questioning the behavior and questioning the truthfulness and the dedication to his country of the top commander in Iraq.

Your reaction to finding out that they did it and they got a discount?

LOTT: First, the ad was one of the most outrageous, ridiculous things I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m not surprised by this far left-wing, kooky group, MoveOn.org. I assume the New York Times gave them the friends and family discount, because MoveOn.org is part of their extended family. Frankly, you know, maybe the New York Times should have paid MoveOn.org for writing their editorial policy.

But to accuse this patriot, this military man, this outstanding individual, who the Senate endorsed unanimously for the position he has, and then accuse him of betraying America – it’s one of the worst things I’ve seen in my years in Washington, which has been now 39 years totally. But the atmosphere in Washington, the acts of cowardice, the blatant partisan politics, I’ll tell you, E.D., it’s the worst I’ve ever seen, even worse than after – during Watergate and during the Clinton impeachment trials.

HILL: Wow. Well…

LOTT: There’s a degree of irresponsibility that we have got to stop.

HILL: Certainly no cowardice involved with the general, a man who has been wounded in three different military conflicts in service to our nation. This story doesn’t seem to be going away, and now that new information about the discount that the New York Times gave the leftist organization.

LOTT: Right. Right.

HILL: Senator Trent Lott, thank you very much.

LOTT: Thank you, E.D.

Senator Trent Lott Press Release
7/14/7